Many jewellers and artists have great ideas and produce many masterpieces. As one offs that is fine but when ten, twenty or a hundred more are requested by your customers, eager to wear these exquisite creations, it can present a problem. It may be that you, as an artist, want to limit the number you make to remain highly exclusive. However, if you want to sell more but lack the time, contract casting can be a realistic option.
Jewellery manufacture – the facts
One of the most important factors that artists look for is quality. We have been manufacturing for 36 years and know most of the problems associated with pewter, bronze and silver casting. One of the most persistent issues is porosity. Another is fire-stain. Of course, it depends on what metal you cast and the size, shape and thickness of the original. Pewter casting presents different challenges to silver and bronze. We cast pewter centrifugally in rubber moulds at around 270 degrees C and these moulds can be re-used many times before wearing out. On the other hand silver and bronze require the lost wax investment process as the temperatures are in the region of 900 to 1050 degrees C.
The second factor is cost. One has to calculate margins and selling price and if the cost is too high the process of casting diminishes in appeal. We try to be realistic and separate casting costs from metal costs so you know where each cost element comes from. That way you can make useful comparisons if you are shopping around.
The third factor is timescale. It’s no use waiting a month when you need products next week. If you supply the master or even the waxes it speeds up the turnaround of a job significantly. The minimum order turnaround is two weeks but this could be longer if we need to make a mould or do anything different.
One aspect of having contract casting done for you is “who does the finishing”? This production task can often be the most time consuming and the results could be what sell the creations for you. As a complete jewellery manufacturer we also do all our own finishing and have the necessary machinery and trained artisans to get the best results from the various metals.
As a designer and artist or a small business you might also be concerned about confidentiality and the security of your products. That is one reason why there are no photographs on our site showing any bespoke products. If you commission moulds to be made and you have paid for them then you own them and can ask for them to be sent to you at any time.
We hope this information is useful and if there is anything else you need to know please ask.